Section 8 in West Virginia is a program that low-income families may qualify for when they need assistance paying for rent or finding affordable housing. Through this program, families can receive a voucher for reduced monthly rent, which helps make housing more affordable. There are many low income housing units in West Virginia that work with this program.
Section 8 housing is federally funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but the program is administered at the local level by public housing authorities (PHAs). Each PHA serves a different county, city or region in West Virginia. With that in mind, the application steps and eligibility criteria can vary from one PHA to the next. Learn more about the process of getting a voucher through this program and find out how to qualify below.
Discover West Virginia Section 8 Requirements
There are several Section 8 requirements in West Virginia, but the most important criteria relate to income, family composition and legal presence in the U.S. First, you can usually only meet the Section 8 qualifications if your family’s income is less than 50 percent of the median income of your area.
In most cases, PHAs will give preference to families who have an extremely low income, meaning an income that is less than 30 percent of the median for the area. In fact, federal law requires that PHAs save a majority of their vouchers for extremely low-income families.
Section 8 income limits vary depending on your family size and where you live. For example, the limits may be higher in metro areas where families tend to earn a higher income. Furthermore, Some PHAs manage apartment buildings or multi-family units that have specific eligibility requirements. With that in mind, the income limits may also be different depending on the community that you want to live in.
Section 8 eligibility is also limited to households that qualify as a family. According to HUD, a family can consist of a single person who is elderly, disabled or displaced from home. Families can also be made up of two or more people, with or without children, who live in the same household. In most cases, single adults who are not disabled, elderly or displaced cannot receive a voucher.
In order to meet Section 8 housing eligibility requirements in West Virginia, you also need to be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or a legal non-citizen. You may be able to qualify as an asylum seeker or lawful permanent resident.
How to Apply for Section 8 Housing in West Virginia
A West Virginia Section 8 application must be submitted to a local PHA rather than to HUD. In most cases, you may apply through any PHA you want. However, it is important to keep in mind that you will need to rent a unit located within the PHA’s service area once you receive a voucher. Furthermore, some PHAs give preference to applicants who already live or work in their service area.
You can usually apply for Section 8 by filling out a paper application in person or sending a form through the mail. Some PHAs provide a Section 8 application online as well. Due to the fact that the demand for vouchers is high in certain areas, most PHAs will require that you fill out a preliminary application to be placed on a waiting list. You will usually need to complete a full application once your name reaches the top of the waiting list.
There is no standard Section 8 application form because each PHA is independently operated. However, you will generally need to provide the same information no matter where you apply. This may include:
- The name, date of birth and Social Security Number (SSN) of each family member.
- Your contact information, including a valid phone number and address.
- Contact information from previous landlords, which can be used to verify your rental history.
- Information on your income, assets and other resources.
At some point during the Section 8 application process, you will need to verify your information by providing any documentation the PHA requests. This may include paperwork such as birth certificates, employment records, tax returns and other documents.
Understanding Section 8 Waiting Lists in West Virginia
Oftentimes, there are more families in need of assistance than there are vouchers available. Because PHAs cannot immediately assist everyone who applies, some petitioners may be placed on a waiting list. In many cases, families on a Section 8 waiting list can wait months or years to receive a voucher. For that reason, this program is not usually a solution for families who are having an immediate housing crisis.
Your Section 8 waiting list status will change when families currently receiving assistance leave the program and other applicants are removed from the list. While you are waiting, the most important thing to do is keep your information up-to-date.
Most PHAs will mail notifications when vouchers become available. If you do not receive a notification because you failed to update your mailing address, your name may be removed from the waiting list altogether.
Keep in mind that you still need to meet the Section 8 requirements when your name comes up on the waiting list. You cannot receive a voucher if your eligibility has changed, even if you initially qualified when you were placed on the list.
Learn About West Virginia Section 8 Housing Lists
Using a Section 8 housing list can help you find a unit to rent once you receive a voucher. However, you do not necessarily need to stick to Section 8 listings when searching for a home. In most cases, you are allowed to rent any house or apartment that meets your PHA’s requirements. There are many low income apartments for rent that could be an affordable option for your family.
You may need to use an approved Section 8 housing list if you qualify for assistance through a special program with your PHA. For example, some vouchers require you to live in a specific housing project.